Lieutenant General Daniel P. Leaf

Lieutenant General Daniel P. Leaf


Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Leaf is Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. He assists the commander in the development, acquisition and operation of the Air Forces space and missile systems. General Leaf also directs and coordinates the activities of the staff. The command organizes, trains and equips all Air Force space and missile forces; oversees a global network of satellite command and control, communications, missile warning and launch facilities; and ensures the combat readiness of America’s intercontinental ballistic missile force. The command comprises more than 39,700 space professionals who provide combat forces and capabilities to North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Strategic Command.

A native of Shawano, Wis., General Leaf earned his commission as a distinguished graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Air Force ROTC program in 1974. He commanded a flight, two squadrons, an operations group and two fighter wings, and has directed joint operations. He commanded the 31st Air Expeditionary Wing comprised of F-16, F-15, F-117, A-10 and EC-130 aircraft during Operation Allied Force. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served as the Director, Air Component Coordination Element with the Coalition Land Forces Component Commander in Kuwait and Iraq.

General Leaf is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours, including Allied Force, Joint Forge, Northern Watch and Southern Watch combat missions.


1974 Bachelor of Science degree in political science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

1976 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence

1983 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

1986 Honor graduate, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

1986 Master of Arts degree in military art and science, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

1987 Outstanding graduate, Air War College, by correspondence

1988 U.S. Army Battalion Pre-Command Course, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

1993 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

1998 Senior Information Warfare Applications Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2000 National Security Leadership Course, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

2000 Joint Flag Officers Warfighting Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2001 Joint Force Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.


1. December 1974–November 1975, student, pilot training, Columbus AFB, Miss.

2. March 1976-November 1976, student, F-4D initial training, George AFB, Calif.

3. November 1976-April 1978, F-4D aircraft commander, flight lead and standardization and evaluation officer, 7th and 9th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, Holloman AFB, N.M.

4. May 1978-August 1978, student, OV-10 training, Patrick AFB, Fla.

5. August 1978-April 1980, OV-10 forward air controller, 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron; instructor pilot and flight examiner, 51st Composite Group; later, chief, and standardization and evaluation officer, 5th Tactical Group, Osan Air Base, South Korea

6. April 1980-July 1981, weapons system project officer and standardization and evaluation flight examiner, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii

7. July 1981-June 1985, F-15C pilot, instructor pilot, chief of training and scheduling and flight commander, 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron, later, standardization and evaluation branch chief, 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena AB, Japan

8. June 1985-May 1988, student, later, faculty member, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

9. May 1988-May 1992, F-15 instructor pilot, chief of standardization and evaluation, and operations officer, 426th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, later, Commander, 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, later, Commander, 58th Operations Support Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

10. June 1992-June 1993, Air Combat Command-sponsored research fellow and student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

11. July 1993-July 1995, Deputy Commander, later, Commander, 1st Operations Group, Langley AFB, Va.

12. March 1995-June 1995, J-3, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

13. July 1995-June 1997, Deputy J-3, U.S. Forces Korea, and Assistant Deputy C-3, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command, Yongsan, South Korea

14. July 1997-November 1998, Commander, 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C.

15. November 1998-January 2000, Commander, 31st Fighter Wing and 31st Air Expeditionary Wing, Aviano AB, Italy

16. January 2000-November 2002, Director of Operational Requirements, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

17. December 2002-July 2003, Director of Operational Capability Requirements, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. (February 2003-April 2003, Director, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Air Component Coordination Element, Coalition Land Forces Component Headquarters, Camp Doha, Kuwait)

18. August 2003-present, Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.


Rating: Command pilot

Flight hours: More than 3,600

Aircraft flown: F-4C/D, OV-10, O-2, F-15A/B/C/D, F-16 Block 25/40/42/50, UH-1N and HH-60G


Distinguished Service Medal

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster

Bronze Star Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with oak leaf cluster

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Army Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster

Army Achievement Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze star

Kosovo Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Korea Defense Service Medal

NATO Medal with bronze star (Kosovo)


1975 Distinguished graduate, Flying Training Award and Air Training Command’s Commander’s Trophy, undergraduate pilot training

1983 Outstanding Company Grade Officer of the Year, Pacific Air Forces

1993 Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award, Air War College

1999 Air Force Public Affairs Special Achievement for Commander Support Award


“Establishment and Evolution of Air-to-Air Weapons System Evaluation Programs,” Army Command and General Staff College thesis, 1988

“The Future of Close Air Support,” Military Review, 1988

“Unity of Command and Interdiction,” Air University Press, 1993

“Acceptable Risk Planning Factor,” Air-Land-Sea Applications Agency Bulletin, 1994


Second Lieutenant Dec. 10, 1974

First Lieutenant Dec. 10, 1976

Captain Dec. 5, 1978

Major May 1, 1985

Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 1988

Colonel Jan. 1, 1994

Brigadier General July 1, 1999

Major General April 1, 2002

Lieutenant General Sept. 1, 2003

(Current as of October 2004)

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COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group